Need to stretch the family budget? Want more ways to save for that travel fund? Or just looking for some retail therapy without the guilt? While shopping during an online sale mostly gives you significant savings, here are some easy tips to help you save even more.
1. Turn the app notifications on for sale alert days!
While discounts are big during annual e-comm app-wide sale (like Lazada’s "11-11" sale or Shopee’s "12-12" deals), there are sale events throughout the year that can help you stay away from paying regular prices. And don't forget there are occasion-based sale events like Valentine’s and Chinese New Year. There are also thematic ones like a Baby Fair, Gadget Sale, Summer Sale. This coming March 27, for example, Lazada is having its birthday sale. Right after that, Shopee will have its "4-4" deal on April 4. Prices tend to go really low during these times.
By turning on or allowing the app's notifications on your phone, you don't forget the dates, which can help you strategize how much of something you will buy during one sale event and then the other.
For parents, the most awaited and best value for money buys during these online sales are diapers. Last November 11, during Lazada’s 11-11 sale, I had to make sure I bought the number of diapers my baby needed until the next sale, which was the January baby fair. I took into account the delayed delivery time during these sales for my stock computation. If you do this right, you might rarely pay full price for diapers!
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Best to follow the shops of your preferred brands or sellers as well. They sometimes have their own sale that gives as much as a 30% discount.
2. Collect vouchers and know when best to use them.
Maximize savings by collecting vouchers before the actual sale dates. These vouchers are usually limited, and once the allowable number of vouchers have been collected, you have to wait for them to be replenished (if it even will be restocked). Since you are not required to use all the vouchers, go ahead and collect all of them to be safe.
These vouchers can be used for extra savings for a minimum accumulated spend from any store within the website as long as you reach the minimum spend in one transaction. Example: Get extra Php500 off for a minimum accumulated spend of Php3,000.
Last December, I finally bought the sterilizer/dryer I’ve been eyeing for months. From the original price of Php4,199, it went on sale for only Php2,939 (30% off). Because I had a Php3000-discount voucher, I added a nipple bottle brush worth Php17.77 and baby safety cotton buds for Php62.77. I spent an additional P80 to reach P3000 and got P500 off. I ended up getting my sterilizer for only P2,519 with the brush and cotton buds. Savings went up from 30% to 40%!
Store specific vouchers
These vouchers offer a discount when you reach a minimum spend in one particular store.
I was on maternity leave last Christmas and opted to do my holiday shopping online. To get additional savings, I prioritized shopping for as many gifts in one store rather than buying from different stores. Not only did it help me reach the required amount for free shipping, but it also gave me an additional discount offered by the store.
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Buying makeup? Personal care products? If prices are the same with the retailer and the manufacturer, check which ones offer rebates or store vouchers. For example, instead of buying makeup from the brand’s store that does not have vouchers for an additional discount, you can get more savings by buying from Watson’s using their store voucher of less Php50 for minimum Php700 spend.
Free shipping vouchers (no minimum purchase, get free shipping)
Hindi napupulot ang Php50! While shipping fee charges are usually minimal for Metro Manila delivery, they can pile up to become a significant part of your expenses if you buy from a lot of different stores!
Imagine buying a pair of cute ankle socks for Php99 pesos but paying Php50 for the delivery. The pair of socks now costs Php149, thanks to to the shipping fee, which is 35% of the price.
With the shipping fee, an item that was initially cheaper online was now more expensive than those in retail stores. A baby bottle cleanser that’s Php99 online might be less costly than the Php129 price in supermarkets. But with the shipping fee of Php50, it’s now Php149 online vs. Php129 in the supermarket.
And if you go to the supermarket weekly, you’ll be better off just buying it together with your other supplies.
So if you chance upon free shipping vouchers with no minimum purchase (usually available for items featured during a flash sale or can be used for a limited time), take it because it is an excellent opportunity to buy something you’ve been itching to try.
3. Always compare prices because a sale doesn't always mean cheap.
Lazada usually presents prices as "slashed" from the original standard retail price (SRP) to show savings even when not on sale. It’s important to know what is the indicated discounted price while not on sale to maximize your savings. You can prioritize or limit your choices to those with real sale discounts because you can buy the other for the same price at any given day.
And buy bundles only if you use every item regularly. Take it from someone who ended up purchasing unnecessary diapers.
I saw a newborn-starter diaper box during the last sale. The box contained newborn and small diapers plus wipes. It was an impulse buy because the savings looked more significant than just purchasing the diapers. I bought the box without computing (it probably didn’t help that I was half-awake while shopping at 1 a.m.), I
I did the math later and found out the savings increased because they included savings from the branded wipes. The baby wipes were premium and costs around double than what I would usually spend. I had a cheaper alternative for wipes, so I didn’t really need to buy the premium ones. I lost out on that deal by purchasing the bundle when I didn’t need the wipes. Excellent quality wipes though!
Discounts can get bigger during certain times of the sale day. Check the items that will go on sale during different times of the day, and click that "remind me" button so you can go back to it during a flash sale. Flash sales can also feature free shipping with no minimum purchase amount during a limited time.
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5. Up your savings game by checking out the online shopping site's partners.
If the e-commerce site has a tie-up with a bank, for example, the bank is highly likely to have deals of its own for a future sale. Do you have a Grab app? It is offering discounted rewards points to get 20% in the upcoming Lazada sale capped at Php300.
You can also check sites like Shopback.ph that give you additional rebates if you shop using their coupon code.
6. You can always cancel!
Missed any of the above tips? Saw a similar product with a lower price? Figured out a better combination of items to maximize your vouchers? Don’t fret! As long as your transaction is still pending, you can always cancel and start your shopping again! Canceled transactions usually return your vouchers and mark them again as unused.
Happy discount shopping!
Christine Ongteco-Sandejas is a mom of three from ages 15 years to 4 months old. She gets high on finding ways to save on expenses at home and at work. At the moment, online shopping and coffee keep her awake for night feedings.